Although RT no longer garners many headlines, this does not mean that it is free of controversial ethical issues, many of which challenge religious beliefs regarding marriage, family, and more broadly what it means to be human. Consequently, it is incumbent upon Christians to evaluate RT in light of their most deeply held theological and moral convictions, especially those considering using RT and those providing pastoral care and guidance in the discernment process.
Whatever the case, we have many Rachels in our congregations—women who are “weeping for (their) children because they are not” or “are no more” (Matthew 2:18 quoting Jeremiah 31:15). These women, and men too, find difficulty in joining in the joy of this day. They may be inconspicuously absent because it hurts too much to be reminded of empty wombs, empty hearts, and empty hands.
It is crucial that churches help believers make ethical decisions regarding fertility treatments by first instilling a gospel framework for suffering in general, and infertility in particular, into the congregation’s imagination. In order for the church to counteract believers’ culturally conditioned attitudes about infertility, pastors must present a fully Christian vision of what a virtuous struggle with infertility looks like.